Investing in the Future

Annual Report 2021

Investing in the Future

Annual Report 2021

Letter from the Chair

“Our surgical ecosystem has proven to be nimble, adaptable, and remarkably resilient as we continue to evolve and adapt to sustain our mission. As we continue to weather these turbulent times (and perhaps even see clearer skies ahead as the current pandemic, we hope, enters its final phase) our collective successes have enabled us as the Department of Surgery to turn our attention to the ways we will continue to invest in the future.”

Department of Surgery group photo

At the Forefront

Total cases

Total RVUs

Total visits

Data collection, sample collection, non-interventional trials

Clinical trials

$ in total clinical trial funding (direct/indirect)

Total active grants

Total active research protocols

$ in total grant funding (direct/indirect)


The stories below feature profiles of some of our newest surgeons and faculty members. Get to know them and what influenced them to choose their surgical specialty and UChicago Medicine’s Department of Surgery.

Cardiac Surgery

When a 50-year-old patient needed a heart transplant, but his faith required surgery without the use of blood products or transfusions—he turned to the Cardiac surgical team led by Dr. Valluvan Jeevanandam.

Colon & Rectal Surgery

Dr. Kinga Skowron Olortegui performs minimally invasive surgery to minimize postoperative pain and is committed to offering each patient a custom-made treatment plan. Learn how she came to choose this specialty and UChicago Medicine.

General Surgery

When Dr. Yalini Vigneswaran was an undergraduate studying chemical engineering, she became intrigued by the field of medicine. Find out more about the work she’s doing today and what it’s like to be part of a collaborative team working toward a common goal.

Otolaryngology—Head & Neck Surgery

Dr. Brandon Baird is a dedicated laryngeal surgeon whose specialty covers a broad spectrum of laryngeal diseases and surgical management of voice and swallowing disorders. Read how he combined his love of music and medicine to treat professional vocal artists for voice conditions.

Pediatric Surgery

An accomplished pediatric surgeon, Dr. Carmelle Romain provides care to children of all ages who suffer from a wide spectrum of conditions. Hear about her experiences working with these small but mighty patients, who continually inspire her with their resilience.

Plastic & Reconstructive Surgery

Dr. Summer Hanson specializes in plastic and reconstructive surgery, treating a wide range of conditions from complex breast reconstruction to skin cancer treatment. Learn how she combined her interest in art and architecture with her passion for medicine.

Thoracic Surgery

An expert thoracic surgeon, Dr. Maria Lucia Madariaga knew she wanted to be a surgeon from an early age. Learn about her journey to get here—from dissecting her pet goldfish when they died to becoming a renowned surgeon at UChicago Medicine.

Transplant Surgery

Dr. R. Angelica Perez Gutierrez is a highly skilled transplant surgeon whose research explores ways to expand the donor pool. Read about how she came to be at UChicago Medicine and is improving quality of life for transplant patients.

Trauma & Acute Care Surgery

Meet Lt. Col. Timothy Plackett, DO, MPH, a trauma surgeon and Kenneth L. Wilson, MD, medical director of UChicago Medicine’s trauma center and a military surgeon in the U.S. Army Reserve. Learn how UChicago Medicine will become the latest premier trauma training site for Army physicians, nurses, and medics ahead of their deployments.


After rotating through the various specialties in his third year of medical school, Dr. Parth Modi chose urological surgery, because, like many of our surgeons, he liked being able to use his hands to fix a problem and see a real-time benefit from an intervention.

Vascular Surgery & Endovascular Therapy

Dr. Luka Pocivavsek is an expert vascular surgeon and a devoted researcher who improves vascular care by investigating innovative treatments and techniques. Find out how his love of research led him down a path toward surgery.

in recognition

The continued success of the University of Chicago Department of Surgery is due in part to the generous support and contributions of alumni, friends, foundations, corporations and other institutions. The Department of Surgery gives a heartfelt thank you to the following individuals and organizations for contributing $10,000 or more in 2020–21.

A.S.C.R.S. Research Foundation

Be Brave for Life Foundation

Suzan B. Bernhard

Estate of Victor Bernhard

Stephan Blandin

Cancer Research Foundation

The Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia

Marc Copland

David Scott Evans

Joan Evans

Brenda H. Feis

Lawrence Feis

Fidelity Charitable Gift Fund

Geraldine K. Fiedler

John Fiedler

Michael J. Fine

Stephanie Fine

Gastro-Intestinal Research Foundation

Jill Giglio

Ozzie Giglio

Stanford J. Goldblatt

Goldman Sachs Gives

The Irving Harris Foundation

Peggy Heim

The Robert Wood Johnson Foundation

Paul H. Jordan

Jacob Kiferbaum

Kovler Family Foundation

Jonathan Kovler

Sally Meyers Kovler

Lumiere Investments

Josiah Macy, Jr. Foundation

Christine Woldt Manno

Michael Manno

Medtronic, Inc.

Robert M. Naclerio

Sharon Naclerio


National Organization For Rare Disorders

National Philanthropic Trust DAF

Erik G. Nelson

Alexandra G. Nikitas

Sharon Ouwenga

Warren Ouwenga

Overdeck Family Foundation

Pediatric Cancer Foundation

Respiratory Health Association of Metropolitan Chicago

Ryan Salvador

Eric Schmidt

Schmidt Futures

Wendy Schmidt

Schwab Charitable Fund

Searle Funds at The Chicago Community Trust

Estate of Sam P. Serio

Alexis Conner Strongin MD

Steven H. Strongin

Vanguard Charitable Endowment Program

Thomas Wehmeier

Elliot M. Weiner

Weiner-Marc Foundation

John Zavislak

past reports




If you are having trouble accessing information on this website or need materials in an alternate format, contact Julian Owens for assistance.